Unity, Epic Games' $6 billion rival in the video game creation software market, has filed for an IPO

Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchJohn Riccitiello, CEO of Unity, which on Monday filed its paperwork for an IPO.
  • Video game creation software maker Unity on Monday publicly filed its paperwork for an initial public offering.
  • The company didn’t say how many shares it plans to sell or at what price, but said it plans to raise as much as $US100 million.
  • Unity was founded 16 years ago in Denmark; despite its long history, it’s still losing significant amounts of money – $US54 million just in the first six months of this year.
  • The company’s filing comes as Epic Games is in a dispute with Apple that could bar Epic from updating its Unreal game engine – which competes with Unity’s software – for iPhones and Macs.
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Unity, a company that provides software for video game creators, on Monday publicly filed its paperwork for an initial public offering.

The San Francisco company did not say how many shares it plans to sell or offer a price range for them, but for the purposes of the filing, in dictated that it plans to raise as much as $US100 million in the offering. Unity was valued at around $US6 billion in a venture fundraising round in May of last year.

Unity’s namesake software – a game engine, in industry parlance – is the foundation behind many popular games, including “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout” and “Ori and the Will of the Wisps.” It allows developers to more easily bring their games to multiple platforms, including PC, Mac, smartphones, and the major video game consoles.

The company has had a long road to going public. It was founded in 2004 in Denmark. It later relocated its headquarters to the San Francisco Bay Area. A decade after its founding, the company brought in longtime video game executive John Riccitiello to serve as its CEO, replacing founder David Helgason. Riccitiello then overhauled Unity’s management team.

Unity has raised some $US700 million in venture funding over some six rounds starting in 2009, according to PitchBook.

Unity is still losing money

Despite a long history and a typically highly profitable business model – offering software to other enterprises – Unity is losing significant amounts of money and, until recently, its losses were growing.

In the first six months of this year, the company lost $US54.2 million on revenue of $US351.3 million. In the same period last year, it lost $US67.1 million on $US252.8 million in sales.

Last year, it lost $US163.2 million on $US541.8 million in sales. In 2018, it lost $US131.8 million on sales of $US380.8 million.

According to its IPO paperwork, Unity has never been profitable.

The company had 3,379 full-tme employees as of June 30, up from 2,715 on December 31.

Riccitiello and Helgason are among those who are poised to profit off the offering. Riccitiello owns 8.3 million Unity shares and stock options, giving him a 3.4% stake in the company. Helgason, now a board member of the company, owns 10.4 million shares, or about 4.4%.

Other top shareholders include Roelof Botha, a longtime board member and a partner at Unity investor Sequoia Capital, who controls 14 million shares, or 5.9%; Egon Durban, a director since 2017 and a partner at Silver Lake, who represents Silver Lake’s stake in Unity of 43.3 million shares, or 18% of the company; and Barry Schuler, a director since 2016 and a partner at Draper Fisher Jurveston, who represents that firm’s 4.2 million shares or 1.8% stake.

Riccitiello is Unity top-paid top official. Last year, the company gave him $US8.5 million in total compensation, including a $US360,000 salary, $US255,452 in cash incentive pay, and $US7.8 million worth of stock options. Unity’s next two highest-paid executives were Kimberly Jabal, its chief financial officer, who received $US5.2 million in total compensation; and Ingrid Lestiyo, a senior vice president and general manager of its Operate Solutions area, who received $US2.8 million.

Its IPO filing comes as Epic Games, one of Unity’s chief rivals, is in the midst of a legal and contractual dispute with Apple. As a result of that dispute, Epic has warned that it could soon be unable to offer updates to its Unreal game engine – the basic software that underlies numerous video games – for Apple devices, including iPhones and Macs.

Got a tip about Unity or another startup?Contact Troy Wolverton via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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